Archive for the ‘Chicken Coop’ Category
The sun is shining , the air is warm and I can feel a hint of spring. I let the chickens out early today and they are wandering the yard looking for tasty morsels.
Dare I say, “Spring is in the air?”
It is, yet this is the JANUARY thaw, nothing more. I know it, it happens every year and I get so excited I head out the back door to work in the garden, I want to put seedlings in the ground TODAY, and plan for baby chicks.
I am like a little girl in a candy store about the January thaw. But this year I am taming this excitement (a little) and have made a list of backyard projects and I want your input!
Project #1- Build a chicken house. I love my chicken tractor, but it’s hard for one person to move and it only accommodates 5 chickens. I want more. Here’s our chicken tractor under the snow of the blizzard of ’09.
Project #2- Expand my garden. It’s probably a little hard to see under the snow; but out there, is our garden. There are 4- 30 foot rows. It’s a nice size, but we need to expand for a good corn and potato crop and I’d like to plant some asparagus.
Project #3- Build a nature path. The pine trees in these two pictures mark the edge of our property line (although we have such great neighbors that it’s no problem to go a little outside the “boundary”). This is a project I have been dreaming for 3 years and now my son is old enough to help.
Project #4- Plant a milkweed garden. (An extension of #3) The last part of the nature path will go through our small back field. I want to plant lots of milkweed and butterfly bush* weed in hopes that our backyard will become a safe spot for migrating monarchs.
There are so many more projects that I have cooking up. These are the ones that are at the top of my to do list. This week we’ll be ordering seeds in my attempt to realize #2. I’d like to head out today with some strips of material to mark our nature path. And we’ve saved lots of butterfly bush and milkweed seeds.
Bring it on 2010. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty, brow sweaty and see what magic nature will bring.
I am excited to open my backyard project list up to my readers too. Those with tips and tricks to help me, please send links and I will post ‘em here!
Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!
This is part of the Steady Mom 30 minute blog challenge. I must confess, my writing was interupted multiple times, it took under to write with these “breaks”. Next week I’ll write at night rather then first thing in the morning. I thought I’d get away with it today.
*Many thanks to Alison of Loving Natures Garden for correcting me… on butterfly weed vs. butterfly bush. Read her comment below for why.
- Eggs are a great source of protein.
- Commercially raised eggs purchased from the store can be months old.
- Eggs from my backyard can be minutes old.
- Chicken manure is a great additive to my garden soil.
- Children can tend to chickens.
- Offering my kids real jobs encourages responsibility.
- Children feel trusted when they have real jobs.
- Chickens love to eat kitchen scraps… reduces waist!
- We walk to our egg source, reducing the amount of gas used for transportation.
- Chickens are cute.
Do you have chickens? Why do you love raising them?
:: :: :: ::
I am participating in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog by Darren Rowse of Problogger. This is day 2- writing a list post. I’ve done my best in the time I have. Great exercise!
In May 2008, I made a $32.00 investiment in 8 chicks; six chickens and two roosters. At first they lived in a plastic container in the living room with a heat lamp; there was a constant peeping chicks in the house. Then we moved them to the basement and into a plastic kiddy pool given to us by Erin (who was my biggest cheerleader through this process).
When the chicks became birdies flying around the basement, we moved them outside to this lovely A-frame chicken tractor my dear husband built for me. Feeding the chickens became one of our morning family chores. (I have since lost the plans for this chicken tractor, and would modify it to include wheels and an extended chicken run).
In November of 2008, they laid their first eggs. I remember feeling that this chicken business was really faith in action; for six months we fed these animals, with total confidence that they would produce for us; and then they did!
Here’s the J-man as a very happy chicken farmer.
I had always dreamed of chickens roaming the yard free as birds; however our chicken tractor seemed more practical because we live near a pond where foxes and other predators abound; last week I decided to run the risk of loosing a few chickens and now they are scavenging freely in our backyard.
I enjoy looking out the window watching as they peck away at the ground and run after bugs flying by; it is a pleasure to hear them scratching in the woods or running for cover when hawks fly by. We do run the risk of loosing them, I’d miss ‘em too, but at some point their happiness is important too.
As a mother, I am constantly weighing the risks; do I let him climb that high? Can he check the mail alone? What if he cuts himself with the scissors or falls over on the shovel?
I like taking risks, it’s terrifying in some ways, but I’d prefer to live free as a bird then cooped up in a fearful mind. So I let my chickens and my son take risks too.
How do you free yourself from fear? What have you been keeping cooped up that might benefit from some free-ranging?